Daily Bible Nugget #462, Isaiah 40:8

The Nugget:

Isa 40:8  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

My Comment:

The Bible is dependable. It does not contain errors. It is the Word of God. It is Divinely inspired. You can trust that what it says and teaches is the truth. Anyone who claims otherwise has not studied the subject enough to know better.

On a website populated mostly by Muslims I have read many false claims about what the Bible says, and many false claims about the reliability of the Bible. This evening, I took the time to give what I hope will be a clear, fair, and I hope helpful explanation that refutes some of the charges repeatedly made by some in the Muslim community against the truth of the Bible.

The Muslim claim:

“The Oldest Version of the Bible in the World is the Sinai Bible, Housed in the British Museum!!

“There are over 14,800 differences between this Bible and the King James Version!!

“Woe to the people who write the Scripture with their own hands and then says This is from God” (Koran 2:79).

My Response:

Whoever wrote these supposed “facts” has done little by way of learning about textual criticism and scholarly research. The variations within the original manuscripts, though numerous, are inconsequential. Most differences are minor variations in spelling, word order, and grammatical matters. The differences do not affect the meaning. The fact that the Bible has more manuscript evidence to support its text, and manuscripts that go back closer to the time of its original composition means we have a text that is more certain to be accurate than for any other work of ancient times.

The Muslim Claim:

“May I have your attention please!!”

“The Revised Standard Version saying something about the King James Version!!”

“If you read the Preface of the Revised Standard Version it says:

“Yet the King James Version has grave defects; that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision!!”

Further, “Bible gone for a toss–Dr. Clinton Baldwin [near as I can make out the fine print].

“We have lost the Originals of the New Testament!!”

“Today what we have is the copy of the copy of the copy of the copy of the copy of the copy of the Originals.”

My Response:

The Revised Standard Version was produced by liberal scholarship and was not accepted by most Bible believing Christians when it first appeared. It was accepted widely in many so-called mainline Protestant churches or denominations.
The so-called “grave defects” are not defects at all. Our knowledge of ancient Bible manuscripts has greatly increased since the years before 1611 when the King James Version was released. The King James translators did not have access to as many or as good of manuscripts as scholars have access to in our day. But the better manuscripts available today which were discovered since the time when the King James Version was produced, while giving us a better picture of what the original copies must have said, vary little from the received text underlying the King James Version. What variations there are do not affect any Bible doctrine. I have in my personal library here at home a large collection of published scholarly works and texts pertaining to the Greek text of the New Testament. I have studied this subject since 1955. You can be sure I know something about this topic in depth.
The notion that “we have lost the originals” is more hype than reality. The reality is that no ancient literature has come down to us except in the form of copies of copies of copies. Those who copied the Bible manuscripts were extremely careful. They made every effort, humanly speaking, to make the copies accurately.
But when things are copied by hand, it is next to impossible to make entirely error free copies, especially when a document has been copied many times over many years, even centuries, before the invention of printing.
But because the Bible has more manuscript support than any other work of literature from ancient or classical literature, and its surviving manuscripts are proportionately much older, and the oldest Bible manuscripts are closer to the time the Bible books were written–especially for the New Testament, by comparing these manuscripts carefully it is relatively easy for those who can read the original language to determine what the original text was and when a variation is the result of a copyist’s error.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which contained in the collection some Bible manuscripts used by the community whose library was preserved in the jars found in caves by the Dead Sea demonstrates the accuracy of our settled printed text of the Old Testament of today. There are very few differences in the printed text of today and the texts found by the Dead Sea.
Interestingly, a complete scroll of Isaiah was among the finds at the Dead Sea. That is most significant because liberal scholarship has contended that the Book of Isaiah was not written by a single author. The claim is that chapters 1 to 39 were perhaps by Isaiah, but chapters 40 to 66 are by another and probably later author. In my studies just recently I read so-called modern scholarship that suggests the latter portion of Isaiah ought to be divided and referred to two authors, for a total of three!
All this is so much nonsense and misinformation. There is no sign whatsoever in the Qumran Isaiah scroll that suggests any such breaks in the text were known to them. It is evident that such notions are the invention of so-called modern scholarship, unbelieving scholarship at that.
It is scholarship like this that produced the Revised Standard Version in its day, which has left out many verses and parts of verses, and called into question the account of how Jesus dealt with the adulterous woman in John chapter 8, and have called into question the longer ending of the Gospel of Mark.
It is possible to produce an original text and a proper translation of it without resorting to the mistaken textual theories followed by the translators of the Revised Standard Version.

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